Speaking to MCV, Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony's bosses all expressed their belief that digital downloads will not overtake retail sales for a long while to come.
"I don't think that digitally distributed product will overtake our boxed product for a long time," Nintendo UK general manager David Yarnton said. "Consumers have taken up downloading content in some areas but we still see retail being a vital and valued partner for some considerable time to come."
"Whilst it may be convenient and straightforward to download relatively small files, it's unrealistic to expect the vast majority of consumers to access and store the 25GB or 50GB of data that make up a Blu-ray release," Sony Computer Entertainment UK MD Ray Maguire added. "Therefore, whilst the popularity of and demand for bite-size content will continue to grow, there'll still be a need for a storage medium that's both convenient and accessible to the majority, not the minority, for some time to come."
"I expect digital distribution of game content to explode in the next three years as more publishers encompass the value of Xbox Live. However, from a value perspective, I still see boxed product through retail as playing the lead role during that time horizon," Microsoft's senior regional director of Entertainment and Devices for Northern Europe Neil Thompson concurred.